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Why do we have tanks?

#1
Talking to a friend of mine (Ex RM) why we have tanks in the British Army?
We came to the conclusion:

a) Difficult to transport to theatre and maintain once there
b) Expensive
c) Not that effective in urban environments
d) Any 'Tank targets' can be better handled by helicopters
e) Attract fire
f) 'Hearts and minds' disaster
g) Potential for kidnapping and PR disaster

We came to the conclusion that we use them because we have them and can't really be seen not to use them.

This is the result of a chat between two people who have never actually been anywhere near tanks, so please excuse the ignorance, however, I'd be interested to hear any views.
 
#6
Been done before

We have them because fighting the last war is a very bad idea; Terry might not have armour but Iran does...

Edited to add:

Howler said:
d) Any 'Tank targets' can be better handled by helicopters
Except we don't have all that many attack helos, Hellfire is very expensive and helos can't hang around as long on one tank of fuel as a tank.

Longbow = £27million

Challenger 2 = £3.5million
 
#7
They make great bullet magnets, which helps the infanteers along side them do their job with less grief.
 
#8
a) True
b) Compared to what? 1 MBT is about 1/15 of an attack helicopter (project cost per Helo in service)
c) 120mm HE and protected mobility is very effective when employed as part of combined arms
d) As long as the helos are there and able to see the target and there isn't much of an anti-air threat.
e) While the enemy doesn't bother firing at APCs, infantry or helicopters?
f) Whether you are interested on 'Hearts and Minds' or not depends very much on the situation. Sometimes it doesn't matter, sometimes winning or holding ground is alot more important to hearts and minds than ripping up a road
g) Unlike anything else?
 
R

really?_fascinating

Guest
#9
Enemies do not like them. And they even turn up when it is windy, rainy and low cloud. Unlike AH. And you get 14 in one go if you need them.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
They make a rather reassuring Boom...
 
#14
BiscuitsAB said:
really?_fascinating said:
Enemies do not like them. And they even turn up when it is windy, rainy and low cloud. Unlike AH. And you get 14 in one go if you need them.
Now wouldn't that ruin someones day 14C2's tipping up at once.
It would ruin the REME’s Day if anyone was mad enough to try it. FRT’s all over the place 8O
 
#15
Cause helicopter gunships aren't invulnerable to ground fire...

Cause a tank in theatre doesn't need to fly for half and hour to be combat effective

Cause the main gun is useful for supporting infantry

RM's are light (sorry, commando) infantry. Ask the same question to an armoured infantryman...
 
#16
Not that I would argue against a need for Tanks, I prefer the “Golf bag” approach, however:

omegahunter said:
Cause helicopter gunships aren't invulnerable to ground fire...

Neither are tanks

Cause a tank in theatre doesn't need to fly for half and hour to be combat effective

Neither does an AH (if there are enough provided to support)

Cause the main gun is useful for supporting infantry

So is the Cannon, the Flechets and the Hellfire

RM's are light (sorry, commando) infantry. Ask the same question to an armoured infantryman...

RM,s are fighting the current fight (as are the armoured infantry on rotation)
 
#17
... because you can keep goldfish in 'em!

I always wondered about the effectiveness of cavalry in pre-modern times. Yet you only have to come up against a line of police horses at a large event to understand that they would have been extremely formidable. I guess the same is true of the tank. I'm always surprised at how big they are when passing them on the motorway. Unless you can overcome the fear and have sufficient arms and tactics along with terrain unfavourable to tanks then they are always going to present a big problem to infantry.
 
#18
Bravo_Zulu said:
Been done before

We have them because fighting the last war is a very bad idea; Terry might not have armour but Iran does...

Edited to add:

Howler said:
d) Any 'Tank targets' can be better handled by helicopters
Except we don't have all that many attack helos, Hellfire is very expensive and helos can't hang around as long on one tank of fuel as a tank.

Longbow = £27millionWHAT 40MILLION EACH

Challenger 2 = £3.5million
 
#19
Cos they can do this
 
#20
Howler said:
Talking to a friend of mine (Ex RM) why we have tanks in the British Army?
We came to the conclusion:

a) Difficult to transport to theatre and maintain once there
b) Expensive
c) Not that effective in urban environments
d) Any 'Tank targets' can be better handled by helicopters
e) Attract fire
f) 'Hearts and minds' disaster
g) Potential for kidnapping and PR disaster

We came to the conclusion that we use them because we have them and can't really be seen not to use them.

This is the result of a chat between two people who have never actually been anywhere near tanks, so please excuse the ignorance, however, I'd be interested to hear any views.
Oh do stop asking such stupid fukcing questions..................If you have never seen them in action then you would never understand.

And just how would you expect someone to kidnap a tank?

Idiot!
 

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